Through his spokesman, Sonator Robinson, President Roosevelt, stated that he would veto either the Patman or Vinson bonus bill, should one of them pass Congress. The news is thankfully received by all thoughtful people in the country, for passage of one of the other appears certain. Many people feel that President Roosevelt should explain his attitude and muster public opinion solidly behind him now.
Whatever other objections he may have to the prepayment of the bonus by either of these measures, concern for government credit is undoubtedly the dominant one. Either the Patman bill, which proposes immediate payment of the 2 billion dollar bonus (due years hence) by resorting to the printing-press or the Vinson bill which proposes to raise the amount by the sale of bonds, would shatter government credit. Any government which played the bonus now would rightly be considered totally irresponsible by investors, and would have difficulty borrowing money anywhere. Yet gigantic borrowing operations for legitimate purposes are absolutely indispensable to the government as it is now being administered.
Aside from the danger to a none too firm credit position, the veto could and should be invoked on moral and social grounds. No group has ever been so favored and pampered as the bloc of veterans and pseudo-veterans. Some historians say that the present liberality, graft, and falsification makes post Civil War governments look like pikers. The government is now spending an average of nearly three thousand dollars for each soldier killed or wounded in action--compared to less than 25 dollars in any wartime nation. Courageous leadership is absolutely necessary if the nation is to be saved from economic ruin and total loss of social consciousness.